Critic of Ken Livingstone and chair of Local Government Association takes on planning advisory role

Sir Simon Milton, chair of the Local Government Association, is to advise the new mayor of London on planning.

Boris Johnson, London mayor

Milton, who is also a Conservative councillor for Westminster, was named today by new mayor Boris Johnson as senior adviser for planning.

The move is notable as Milton has been an outspoken critic of the planning powers granted to the mayor during Ken Livingstone’s reign.

Livingstone was granted powers by the government to negotiate section 106 agreements directly and intervene in boroughs' development plans. He was also given greater powers over affordable housing and the overall housing strategy for the capital. These powers will all pass on to Johnson.

In July 2006, he announced: “[Westminster Council] is particularly opposed to the mayor being given housing and planning decision powers, because it is undemocratic and takes decisions further away from local people. When decisions are taken by one man, local people have very little say."

Milton has also criticised Livinstone’s plan to levy businesses to fund Crossrail, and once threatened a compulsory purchase order to redevelop 12 acres of retail sites on Oxford Street.

Johnson called Milton an “experienced public servant with a fantastic record of delivery in local government.”